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The irradiated dead are an example of intelligent undead.

Undead1 are once-living creatures animated by spiritual or supernatural forces, chiefly negative energy or evil magic that corrupted a recently departed soul.2 Undead can be of a simple mindless type, such as skeletons or zombies, or quasideities such as the most powerful liches. Colloquially, undead may be referred to a the walking dead.3

Types of undead

Undead can be categorized in four ways:4

On Golarion

In the Inner Sea region

Creating and transporting undead creatures is illegal in most nations of the Inner Sea region (with Geb being the most prominent exception). The state of undeath is considered a severe moral crime as it violates both a person's body and soul.5

A network of smugglers attempts to circumvent these prohibitions, however, as the mindless undead make for tireless and inexpensive unskilled laborers; a humanoid skeleton can cost as little as 45 gold pieces. Such black-market undead are typically created by profiteering arcane necromancers rather than those that already serve cults or worshipers of evil deities, or hard-to-control spontaneously created undead.5


The practice of necrografting, also illegal outside of Geb, replaces living body parts or organs with those of undead bodies, often to grant the recipient some of the donor's physical or supernatural abilities—or more nefariously, to warp the unwilling in horrific experiments.5


For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. The singular and plural of undead are the same.
  2. Logan Bonner, et al. “Appendix” in Bestiary, 347. Paizo Inc., 2019
  3. Chris Willrich. The Dagger of Trust, 11. Paizo Inc., 2014
  4. Dennis Baker, et al. Undead Slayer's Handbook. Paizo Inc., 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ron Lundeen, et al. “The Corpse Trade” in Black Markets, 14. Paizo Inc., 2015